Creating an Outdoor Ambiance for Your Indoor Reception

Creating an Outdoor Ambiance for Your Indoor Reception

Many couples come to me with visions for a beautiful outdoor seated reception, but find roadblocks along the way. Sometimes their venue of choice doesn’t have an outdoor space suitable for a reception or because of time of year, they aren’t able to have an outdoor reception at all. Here are some suggestions to help create that outdoor feel to your indoor venue:


• Lighting is key. If your venue allows it, drape Italian wedding lights (also known as ping pong lights) throughout the reception space. This is reminiscent of many receptions you may have seen in an outdoor space, like a wedding or your favorite restaurant.

• Candles, candles, candles! With or without the Italian wedding lights, a candlelit dinner helps create the romantic feel you envision on your day. Create centerpieces of different sized and tiered candles with touches of floral or other décor.

• Create a veritable garden inside your venue with lots of floral or succulents and other touches of greenery. Manzanita trees placed strategically throughout the reception space add a lot of depth and can be dressed to your specific tastes and color scheme. Accent the floral and Manzanita trees with vintage items like galvanized planters, antique finials, or tapered birdcages.

• Drape white fabric from the ceiling or walls to mimic the feel of a tented reception.

• Use metal or wood benches instead of plush lounge furniture for guests to relax on away from the reception space. Design a lounge area with the benches centered around a chocolate fountain or scalloped bird feeder filled with other delicious treats.

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